Florida couple finds loophole after being unable to order free COVID-19 tests

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Ordering free COVID-19 test kits on the U.S. Postal Service website was anything but simple for Mike Arman and his wife Ela Lugo.“I put in our post office box which is where we get all our mail and it came back no good — business address,” Arman said.The couple lives in a rural area of Oak Hill. The dirt road leading to their home is about a mile from a paved road, so even though they have a street address, the post office doesn’t deliver.The home isn’t in the postal database and to get the free tests, the postal service asks for a residential address.“It checks the validity of the address with the U.S. database and since we’re not there, we don’t exist,” Arman said.The couple tried their residential address, then their p.o. box address and finally the address of the local post office itself. Because that is considered a business, it was also not eligible. Finally, Lugo found what she thinks might be a workaround for many who live off the beaten path.“I put general delivery only, with my name and the post office ZIP code and the city and it just popped up,” Lugo saidTheir own post office box address didn’t work because it’s considered a business, but Lugo successfully ordered general delivery, which many others without a street address may be able to take advantage of.“It worked for me just to have the order where it says your order has been received, hopefully, it will work for a lot of people,” Lugo said.The COVID-19 test kits are expected to be delivered within seven to 12 days. Because the couple has a post office box, they’re well known to staff and are certain they will get their delivery through the general delivery.

Ordering free COVID-19 test kits on the U.S. Postal Service website was anything but simple for Mike Arman and his wife Ela Lugo.

“I put in our post office box which is where we get all our mail and it came back no good — business address,” Arman said.

The couple lives in a rural area of Oak Hill. The dirt road leading to their home is about a mile from a paved road, so even though they have a street address, the post office doesn’t deliver.

The home isn’t in the postal database and to get the free tests, the postal service asks for a residential address.

“It checks the validity of the address with the U.S. database and since we’re not there, we don’t exist,” Arman said.

The couple tried their residential address, then their p.o. box address and finally the address of the local post office itself.

Because that is considered a business, it was also not eligible.

Finally, Lugo found what she thinks might be a workaround for many who live off the beaten path.

“I put general delivery only, with my name and the post office ZIP code and the city and it just popped up,” Lugo said

Their own post office box address didn’t work because it’s considered a business, but Lugo successfully ordered general delivery, which many others without a street address may be able to take advantage of.

“It worked for me just to have the order where it says your order has been received, hopefully, it will work for a lot of people,” Lugo said.

The COVID-19 test kits are expected to be delivered within seven to 12 days. Because the couple has a post office box, they’re well known to staff and are certain they will get their delivery through the general delivery.



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